This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
When it comes to skills training in the workplace there are two very different ways of thinking.
The old school way of thinking:
- Skills training is too expensive
- Employees miss out on work time while attending skills training programs
- Missing work time for skills training delays performance
The new school way of thinking:
- A skills development program is a worthwhile investment that leads to increased productivity
- It’s crucial to ensure a certain standard of skill sets across your team
- Skills training programs enhance nearly every aspect of your employees’ interactions with customers, prospects, and even teammates
What important skills do you need?
Ok, so maybe karate and nunchuck skills aren’t exactly necessary to work at most organizations, but the point is that everyone benefits from some form of skills training. New hires need appropriate skills training to get up to speed in their roles. Seasoned employees need to keep their skills sharp overtime. That’s why companies should provide different types of training in the workplace that focuses on both hard and soft skills for every teammate.
Hard skills vs. soft skills
Hard skills are job-specific abilities or knowledge learned through education, hands-on experience, or training. In practice, hard skills are either the technical skills needed to perform a certain job, or a general set of expertise, such as project management. Many examples of hard skills require time, investment, and practice to master, and you can track improvement fairly easily. Hard skill training examples are things like copywriting, video editing, graphic design, and accounting.
Soft skills in the workplace refer to transferable and professional skills. They are less specialized and more aligned with the general disposition and personality of a person. Soft skills training modules aim to build and improve teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills—both in the workplace and in everyday life. And, attributes that seem like less of a skill and more of a personality trait, such as empathy and interpersonal communication, can also be improved through skills training. It’s important to the efficiency and success of any company to do what they can to ensure practical soft skills training programs are a normal part of onboarding and continued learning.
While hard skills are learned and mastered over time, soft skills are often harder to develop and difficult to evaluate and measure. But they are just as—if not even more—important to the success of a job and a company.
Why skills training is important
Real talk: technology is rapidly changing. Therefore, formal training and education that took place just a few years ago may already be out of date, and skill sets become antiquated seemingly overnight. If companies don’t provide skills training, keeping up with the competition is nearly impossible. That’s because they could become trapped in a perpetual recruitment cycle to find employees with the right skills.
Skills training also is important because it enhances overall job satisfaction. Top performers often crave challenges and new opportunities. By providing them with access to upskilling opportunities, their engagement and overall company loyalty will likely increase. It also gives them a chance to explore something different and stretch beyond their current capabilities, making their work more interesting and satisfying. Additionally, social skills training programs showcase that the company is willing to invest in them, and that creates a more positive culture. Morale and loyalty often increase as a result, leading to better retention metrics.
Examples of skills training can include learning a new skill through online training, practicing applying a skill through role-play exercises, and even receiving ongoing coaching. There are many options for companies to choose from when it comes to skills training. So, you’ll want to consider certain factors like time commitment, cost, and skill gaps.
Deliver your skills training program with Lessonly by Seismic
By establishing a company-wide skills training program, you can enable high-quality, consistent training across your entire workforce. And now with Lessonly’s newest product, Skills, it’s easier than ever to assess employees’ skill levels, uncover room for growth, and deliver ongoing skills training. Learn more here!